Pop Quiz: Chuck Prophet

Aidin Vaziri | San Francisco singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet is fearless. After recording his most recent album, “Let Freedom Ring,” in Mexico City in the midst of the swine flu pandemic, he’s currently out on the road with fellow local musician Chris Von Sneidern performing the Clash’s classic “London Calling” album in its entirety. Their pickup band, Spanish Bombs, plays the Great American Music Hall on Jan. 29, after a brief European tour (a portion of the proceeds from the show will go to the Food Not Bombs organization). We checked in with Prophet recently while the group was making its way across Spain.


Chuck Prophet
Q: You’re covering the Clash’s “London Calling.” The whole thing?
A: Yep. It’s crazy. Figured if the Coen brothers can remake “True Grit,” why not? So we cast it like a movie. I thought, if Chris von Sneidern will do the Mick Jones bits, I’ll do it. I thought I knew the record inside out. It’s a lot more words and chords than I remembered. It’s like learning Shakespeare.
Q: Do you even have to do the songs you don’t like?
A: Oh, yes. I know it’s not exactly the Virgin Mary on toast, but we’re staying true to the record in that respect. We’re not tinkering with the story. We’re not changing the ending. We’re not changing one comma. But we have changed the grooves under the songs’ feet.
Q: Q: Do you remember what happened to Pussy Galore after they covered the Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street”? They broke up. How do you plan on breaking up with yourself?
A: I’ve been duct-taped back together so many times already, what does it matter?
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